Spring Update and Week-end Links!

DSC_0841Another week has come and gone, and with the arrival of Spring, comes renewed hope and growth.  As the days lengthen and the snow thaws, I am slowly but surely returning to my art practice and writing with renewed vigor.  I have decided to return to blogging and plan on updating this site weekly.

Since having moved into a new season of life, it seems only natural that this space should reflect that. The first order of business is a name change!  That’s right, I will be changing the name of this site to reflect where I am headed creatively.  As well, I have begun a new series in which I interview other artists who are mothers. Stay tuned for that!

Now for some links to inspire you over the week-end!

I really enjoyed listening to the Gold Digger Podcast featuring Beth Kirby from Local Milk.

I’m currently training for a race series, starting with a 5 km race and working my way up to a half-marathon. Really enjoying the recipes from the cookbook: Run Fast. Eat Slow. Excited to make this salad next.

Speaking of food, I made a version of this Sicilian fish soup the other day.

And lastly, really enjoyed the latest Tomb Raider film. Empowering, to say the least.





Follicular Moontime Granola

finalI was reading an article from The Chalkboard mag the other day about the notion of seed cycling in regards to your [menstrual] cycle. The premise of the article was to eat specific foods-in particular seeds-as a way to support your body’s hormonal function during the distinct phases of your cycle. The phases are broken up into two parts: the follicular phase, and the luteal phase. For the follicular phase of your cycle, some of the seeds recommended were: flaxseed, and pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds).  Fish oil, in addition to the other seeds was also advised during this phase.  All of these foods are high in omega-3 fats. With that said,  I already take a daily dose of fish oil in capsule form, so how to be more consistent with the other two?

The inspiration for this granola was really prompted by all the recent changes in my life; all good changes, but nevertheless changes.  Some of which include: marriage, releasing from the military, and moving to a new city, all in the span of a couple of months.  Fewf!  Even with good change, comes stress. For me, my stress shows up in form of PMS in the days leading up to my menses.  Another thing that I have noticed is that I have been deferring my breakfast until later and later in morning, also not good. I decided the easiest way to tackle both issues simultaneously was to make a delicious batch of granola which includes flaxseed and pepitas.  Please note that this recipe is more conceptual than medicinal, healthy yes, but in a more practical way, i.e. as in my case, I am a busy mother and still require a nourishing breakfast posthaste.

Back to the recipe. I was fairly intentional with all the ingredients.  I used rolled oats and almonds for the base, coconut oil to help bind and maple syrup to sweeten (also helps bind), and cacao nibs for a hint of chocolaty sweetness.  The two main health stars are the flaxseed and pepitas.  Finally, I added cinnamon to help offset the hint of fishiness that can sometimes be detected in omegas such as flaxseed.  So there you go, granola for your menstrual cycle!

Next week, I will introduce the recipe for luteal granola for the second phase of your cycle, again inspired by seed cycling. I would highly recommend reading the original article written by Kristin Dahl, as it goes more into detail about the notion of seed cycling.  And lastly, let me know if you make this granola, and what you think of it?  Feel free to comment. Now for the recipe!

Follicular Moontime Granola

1 cup quick cook oat flakes

1/2 cup raw almonds, finely chopped

1/3-1/2 cup pepitas, chopped 

2 tablespoons flaxseed, freshly ground

2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs 

3 tablespoons cold pressed virgin coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.  Chop the almonds and pepitas as specified.  Grind flaxseed until fine (I used an electric coffee grinder specifically for this).  Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl, including the chopped almonds, pepitas and ground flaxseed. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Next, pour all the contents from the mixing bowl onto the baking tray that you lined with parchment paper, and spread evenly.  Bake until golden for about 10-12 minutes, stirring granola halfway through.  Allow granola to cool on tray fully before transferring into an airtight container for storage.  Granola tastes delicious with either almond mylk (or other milk of your choice), cereal or sprinkled over yogurt. Enjoy!



Children’s Literature as Poetry

booksThe other evening, I was reading a children’s book to M entitled “Migrant” by Maxine Trottier and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.  My son was quite absorbed in both the writing and the illustration of this book.  The use of metaphor, in this case personification, had him asking such questions as “why does she have to be a tree?”

A good book will inspire a sense of wonder in a child’s mind which is often reflected in the questions posed and the child’s imaginative play.  The thing about poetry and metaphor is that it helps us to recognize the subtleties in everyday conversation and in life.  It helps us to read between the lines, and these conclusions and insights connect our inner life to our outer life and vice versa.

While M may not fully comprehend the complexities of metaphor, the exposure to it is planting seeds and in the meantime, speaking to his soul .

“What would it be like to be a tree with roots sunk deeply into the earth-to watch the seasons passing around  you the same way the wind passes through your branches?

When fall came and your leaves fell, they would blow away, but you would remain. You’d watch the black and orange butterflies set out on wobbly flight, feel the days grow shorter, look up in the sky and see a line of geese winging south again.

And then you would sleep, wrapped in snow, until the sky-high honking of geese woke you in the spring. Now that would be something.” (Migrant, 2011)

I would love to hear what children’s books have spoken to you?